NFL free agency will be here before you know it. The Los Angeles Rams currently don’t have any money to spend as they are $35M over the cap. However, they can move some things around and restructure some deals to make room. Still, the Rams will be looking to find good value in free agency which typically are the best free-agent signings. Here are the ideal options for the Rams’ biggest areas of need.
Center – David Andrews, Patriots
In 2017, the Rams went out and signed veteran John Sullivan at center and it worked out great. However, the center market isn’t great this year and even if you go for a name like Alex Mack, he’s 36 and on the decline. To be brutally honest, between free agency and the draft, it’s going to be very difficult to get much better than Austin Blythe.
However, Andrews could be an option. He’s dealt with injuries over the past two seasons, but according to the Boston Globe, he’s been a “guiding force on an offensive line that performed well despite a series of injuries that led to multiple fluctuations.”
According to ESPN, Andrews ranked ninth in run-block win rate at 72%. However, Pro Football Focus has Andrews’ run-block grade at 69.9 whereas Blythe’s is at 74.2. Additionally, Andrews had one of the lowest negatively graded play percentages in the league.
Andrews fits the Rams culture as he’s been a captain each of the last four years in New England. If Blythe gets too expensive, Andrews might be the way to go.
Spotrac Market Value: 3-years, $7.1M avg.
Linebacker – BJ Goodson, Browns
BJ Goodson played well for the Browns down the stretch. He was a leader on that defense despite signing just a one-year deal. He bet on himself and it paid off. Goodson played 14 games and led the Browns with 91 tackles. Goodson proved to be a reliable tackler, missing just five tackles last season.
It’s very unlikely that the Rams draft a linebacker in the second round let alone spend money in free agency on a linebacker. Goodson would be a good option, but it’s simply an unlikely option.
EDGE – Romeo Okwara, Lions
If the Rams are unable to bring back Leonard Floyd, Romeo Okwara would be a fantastic plan b and he comes cheap. He just finished his best season with 10 sacks and on a defense like the Rams, he could continue to flourish. He’s a tough evaluation though because he has 4.5 years of average play and a half season of elite play. Did he figure it out or will he come back down to where he was?
He’s a talented player no doubt and an affordable edge option for the Rams. If they can get the same production that Okwara had to end 2020, they could get a steal in free agency.
Spotrac Market Value – 3-years, $10.1M avg.
PFF Market Value – 3-years, $6.5M avg
Wide Receiver – Corey Davis, Titans, or Marvin Jones, Lions
Marvin Jones obviously makes the most sense for the Rams. He’s someone who has chemistry and a rapport with new quarterback Matthew Stafford. Jones is also one of the better deep threats in the NFL. Last season, Jones trailed only Tyreek Hill in most receiving plays of 20-yards or more. Jones had 19 deep targets which was eight more than any Rams receiver.
Corey Davis would be another great option for the Rams. For starters, he’s younger than Jones and because he hasn’t lived up to his draft status, he’s going to be cheaper. Davis averaged 15.1 yards per reception which ranked sixth in the NFL among receivers with 60 or more receptions. He also ranked fifth in yards per target among all receivers.
Both players could come in and be the WR2a/2b that the Rams need next to Cooper Kupp and Robert Woods.
Davis Spotrac Market Value: 4-years, $9.8M avg.
Jones Spotrac Market Value: 3-years, $10.5M avg.
Safety – Damontae Kazee, Falcons
Safety is arguably the most important position on the Rams defense. There’s a good chance that they lose John Johnson III in free agency which will be a big hit to Raheem Morris’ defense. It wouldn’t be shocking for him to go out and get a player who is familiar with his system.
Kazee is coming off of a torn Achilles, but had seven interceptions two years ago and was on pace for a third-straight season of 70+ tackles. Because of his injury, Kazee might come cheaper than had he been healthy last season. Given his familiarity with Morris who was the secondary coach in 2019, this is a signing that makes sense.
Cornerback – Cameron Sutton, Steelers
The Rams need cornerback depth, but it’s not a position that they’re going to be looking to spend big at. This is a team that has done a great job of finding and developing cornerback talent. Like linebacker, I would be surprised if they sign a free agent cornerback.
Nonetheless, Sutton brings versatility as he has experience in both the slot and outside. He’s someone that can come in and take Troy Hill’s role as a rotational No. 2 cornerback.
PFF Market Value – 1-year, $2.75M